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Thoughts while folding laundry

posted Mar 5, 2010, 7:27 AM by Dan Dunbar
The other day I noticed that the uniform exchange basket was full, so I decided that I would bring home the uniform pieces and launder them so that others in need of shirts and skirts and such could adopt them. I managed to manhandle the myriad articles of clothing into the back seat of my car and then juggle them up the steps and into my home where I spilled them on the floor beside the washing machine. The jumble of maroon, black, white, and gray at my feet needed sorting, so I began with the maroon colored items, since there seemed to be more of them. Short-sleeved polos, long-sleeved polos, cardigan sweaters, and a single maroon plaid skirt all were tossed into the warm, sudsy water for a bath, and the black pants and skirts joined them to fill out the load. Once these clothes were clean, they went into the dryer and it was time for the gray and white shirts and sweatshirts to bathe.

I wasn't paying much attention to the clothing beyond its colors and washing instructions until I took them out of the dryer and began folding them. Then it hit me. Some of the polo shirts I was folding were small. "What's so unusual about that?" you may be wondering. "Why would a small polo shirt 'hit you'?" Because it was s-o-o-o small, that's why. I could not believe that there were students in GGCA who wore clothing that seemed so tiny to me! Granted, usually I am washing, drying, and folding my own clothes which could hardly be described as tiny or small, so I was not used to folding a shirt that I could probably wear as a hat at best. But I was stymied to imagine who in GGCA these shirts could fit. I tried to picture a kindergarten child dressed in the shirt in my hands, and I thought to myself, "Oh, my gosh! I guess kindergarteners are this small and I never noticed." My heart just sort of softened like a pat of butter on a stack of hot pancakes.

We all start out so small, so helpless, so vulnerable and so curious, so hopeful, so eager to grow up and to learn and to be independent. It's interesting to watch how some students who would not enter the school without a parent holding their hand now routinely race ahead to get into the building on their own and don't even turn around to acknowledge their parents' "Good-bye," "I love you," or "Have a great day!" 

Why do we want to grow up so fast? 

Why is being 6 and three quarters years old so important? 
(I have never heard an adult saying he was thirty-two and a half.
Why is weighing 58 pounds such a big deal? 
(Most adults are trying to lose weight, not gain it.

I remember how as a little boy I looked forward to the day when I would get real homework, and then, when I got older, how much I wished I could go back to the halcyon days of no homework. 

We go from snuggling and cuddling in our parents' laps to being embarrassed by our parents' kissing us in public. Children want to get bigger and taller and get the privileges that they see come with age (they don't see the responsibilities) while parents sometimes wish they could keep their children young and innocent for just a little while longer.

Time is relentless. Children outgrow their shirts and skirts and shoes, graduate to "big boy" and "big girl" beds, start taking showers instead of baths, and struggle to take control of their lives. They become people responsible for their own choices and start keeping secrets from us; they wrestle with their identities and deciding what they will believe and live by. They become their own persons and we hope and pray that they turn out to be people whose lives testify to the love and grace of God.

They just start out so small...